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Caught on Camera: Colorado elk gives birth

Posted at 7:44 AM, May 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-30 09:44:16-04

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. – A cow elk captured the attention of thousands in Colorado and around the world as the wild animal started giving birth on Lookout Mountain in Jefferson County.

Colorado is home to more than 280,000 elk, the largest population in the world of its kind, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

CBS4 first saw the cow laying on the hillside from a stationary camera which feeds back live images to the station in downtown Denver.

The cow, while she’s obviously unaware of the camera, gave the audience some up close and person views of the process.

As the night went on, many had questions about the ordeal. CPW says the cow is struggling, but they will not intervene or assist with the natural process. They add “it is critical we respect the boundaries between people and wild animals.”

Cow elk tend to stay and travel in a loose herd until a pregnant elk is ready to give birth. That’s when she will move away from that herd and find higher ground to have her calf.

Bull elk (the males) will not stay with this herd, and instead either live in small groups or alone. Their antlers can be between four and nine feet tall.

Early in the summer, the females will migrate to higher ground to give birth.

Elk calves can typically weigh around 35 pounds at birth.